California wines get presidential meal seal

There are wineries in every state of the Union, but it appears only those from California will grace the table when Barack Obama, Joseph Biden and about 200 guests sit down for the traditional Inaugural Luncheon in the Capitol in Washington, DC, on Inaugural Day, Jan. 20.

The menu itself has been "designed to reflect the theme of the 2009 Inaugural ceremonies, 'A New Birth of Freedom,' which celebrates the bicentennial of the birth of President Abraham Lincoln," according to an announcement from the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies.

Curious that no wines were selected from the state of Lincoln's birth (Kentucky) or principal residence (Illinois).

Can't get enough? The announcement further states:

"The menu, created by Design Cuisine, a catering company based in Arlington, Virginia, draws on historic ties to the presidency of Abraham Lincoln. Growing up in the frontier regions of Kentucky and Indiana, the 16th President favored simple foods including root vegetables and wild game. As his tastes matured, he became fond of stewed and scalloped oysters. For dessert or a snack, nothing pleased him more than a fresh apple or an apple cake."

The official menu:

First Course: Seafood stew, paired with Duckhorn Vineyards 2007 Sauvignon Blanc from the Napa Valley in California.

Second Course: A Brace of American Birds (pheasant and duck), served with sour cherry chutney and molasses sweet potatoes, paired with Goldeneye 2005 Pinot Noir from the Anderson Valley in California, the same company that produces Duckhorn.

Third Course: Apple cinnamon sponge cake and sweet cream glacé, paired with Korbel Natural "Special Inaugural Cuvée" from California.

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